Home » Intelligent Design » Ruse versus Nelson: What Would Make Us Change Our Minds? An Unconventional Debate, October 4

Ruse versus Nelson: What Would Make Us Change Our Minds? An Unconventional Debate, October 4

M Ruse P Nelson

An alert mind keeps in reserve and in good trim all that’s needed to destroy its dogmas and opinions. It is always prepared to attack its “feelings” and to refute its “reasons.”

— Paul Valery, Analects

Next month, on Thursday, October 4, Michael Ruse and I are going to have a sort of un-debate. Each of us will be asked to spell out what would change our minds about the other’s position. More to the point, what would persuade us to adopt the opposing stance on evolution or ID?

What evidence, what arguments, what whatever, would change Michael Ruse’s view of intelligent design? Conversely, what would turn me into a card-carrying Darwinian?

Go here for information about the debate location and time. See you there.

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68 Responses to Ruse versus Nelson: What Would Make Us Change Our Minds? An Unconventional Debate, October 4

  1. In other words, what would falsify one’s position?

    I would love to see Ruse’s answer. I would be more specific: “If we found in a biological sytem, systems or organisms, this would disprove Darwinian evolution.”

    If Ruse can’t fill in the blank, Darwinism is unfalsifiable.

  2. This is a good idea.

    On an unrelated note, what happend to the blog formatting?

  3. I love this line of logic for the debate. ID proponents have always been clear about the criteria for accepting Darwinism. First and foremost, Show Precisely how a Irreducibly Complex system originated in step by step fashion instead of using just so stories to explain its origination. Whereas Darwinists have always been very foggy about what it would take to convince them of Intelligent Design… Fantastic complexity in the genome as well as overwhelming detrimental mutation rates to the DNA don’t seem to impress them in the least.
    I truly believe that many Darwinists will take no amount of evidence for Intelligent Design no matter how overwhelming simply because it does not agree with their materialistic philosophy.
    I wish you well.

  4. geoffrobinson said:
    “In other words, what would falsify one’s position?”
    It is a little more involved than that. This would also cover the types and quality of evidence one would find convincing for the other position.

    geoffrobinson said:
    “If Ruse can’t fill in the blank, Darwinism is unfalsifiable.”

    That’s not correct. A single person not being able to fill in that blank would not prove that the theory is unfalsifiable, it would only demonstrate that the individual, or collaboration of people, could not think of a falsifiable prediction for the theory, surely not a good sign but not proof that the theory is unfalsifiable. Demonstrating that a theory is unfalsifiable is more challenging than someone saying “I dunno.”

    All in all this sounds kind of fun.

  5. Dr. Ruse could end up in hot water with his Darwinist buddies if he isn’t careful in this un-dabate. I don’t see how he’ll be able to come up with some new or novel criteria that hasn’t already been addressed ad infinitum by ID. Which would leave him in the untenable position of having to explain why he hasn’t changed his mind lo these many years. I suspect something close to this might happen.

    Nelson, on the other hand, stands to come out in good shape, because the converse doesn’t seem to be the case. The natural mechanisms required for evolution, acting through chance and necessity alone, have never been adequately addressed by Darwinians.

  6. For me a good start would to be able to (scientifically) for the obseved physiological and anatomical differences observed. That is in the face of the genetic similarities.

    Heck I would be very impressed if he could demonstrate something beyond the observed wobbling stability.

    Then scientific data which demonstrates the variation is indeed random, ie that purely stochastic processes are responsible.

    Do that I would be an evolutionist (Darwinist) again.

    But that’s just me…

  7. A science buff/atheist coworker of mine offered this possible falsification of NDE: “A fossilized rabbit in precambrian rock.”

    This strikes me as a rigged example, but I’m unsure why that is. Perhaps its because this is really a refutation of common descent, not a refutation of RM+NS. Perhaps its also because ancestor-descendent relationships are redefined by evolutionists all the time. Wouldn’t it be a simple matter of adjusting the timeline and saying “The modern rabbit has been around much longer than previously thought”, then scribble out the rabbit’s former family tree?

  8. For Ruse this un-debate is easy:

    “Introduce me to the designer(s). Or at least let me see the designer(s) in action.”

    “Produce the specific design process used in each- cosmic and biological, including the OoL.”

  9. Perhaps its because this is really a refutation of common descent, not a refutation of RM+NS.

    Whoops! Logical error. You can’t have RM+NS without common descent.

  10. [...] Ruse versus Nelson: What Would Make Us Change Our Minds? An Unconventional Debate, October 4 [...]

  11. Most darwinists would never change their position even if overwhelming evidence would be presented because Darwinian process is the only way to be intellectually fulfilled atheist as Dawkin’s put it. Every case ID-proponents provide translates to atheists as a attempt to proof the existence of God. It’s truly sad for scientific progress when religion and science gets mixed.

  12. Think I have to agree with Joseph. Were I entering such a debate as a committed materialist, utterly uninterested in the truth–in fact not even believing there is such a thing–I’d hold out with, “Except you show me the Deity in supernatural, miraculous action (I’d still obfuscate on this point and deny any connection between biological design and the human capacity for the same), I’m not impressed with your religious claim. Meanwhile I’d bask in the travel and noteriety, the banquets and stipends: Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.

    But then convincing the committed insincere may not be the point. Letting the uncommitted confused see some logic contrasted with puffery is reason enough to engage.

  13. Please please please record this and put it on YouTube!!! :-) Please :-)

  14. There needs to be questions which leave very little wiggle room.

    Instead of “Darwinism” be more specific. “RM+NS”, “common descent”, etc.

  15. Joseph,

    RE:

    ————————
    “Introduce me to the designer(s). Or at least let me see the designer(s) in action.”
    ————————

    If Ruse were to take this tack, then he probably hasn’t read ID literature or even familarized himself with what ID proponents are interested in.

    I myself used to have this question until coming to this site and learning that the interest of ID proponents is NOT the identity of the designer but DESIGN DETECTION.

    Someone correct me if I am wrong, but the point is this — when a complex natural/biological system is observed, the interest of the ID proponent is the question — WHAT BEST EXPLAINS WHAT I OBSERVE ? Design or Chance ?

    It’s just like seeing crop rings in a field with an intricate and complex yet discernible pattern. If you are an ID proponent, you would study the question of — DID IT GET THERE BY CHANCE OR BY DESIGN, not WHO MADE IT …

    The “WHO” question does not factor in the study at all.

    At least that’s how I understand it.

    Anyone want to correct me or comment on this ?

  16. Joseph,

    RE:

    —————–
    “Produce the specific design process used in each- cosmic and biological, including the OoL.”
    —————–

    This is a double edged sword. One can always DESIGN a process for people to observe ( even when the process wasn’t specifically designed using the process you use, at least we can show A DESIGN PROCESS).

    Of course the rejoinder can also be — show me how chance originated life and the complexity I observe today.

  17. russ –

    What makes the “Rabbit in the Precambrian” a rigged example is the following:

    1) It is overly specific. If you are talking about general ideas, you ALREADY find some modern animals in very low sediments. Not quite precambrian, but so what? But see below and also realize that if certain fossils were found geologists simply wouldn’t label it as precambrian, period.

    2) It really has nothing to do with the question. There are many other reasons for a rabbit to not be in the pre-cambrian other than Darwinism being true. Certainly, if Darwinism is true, we shouldn’t find a Rabbit in the Precambrian. Likewise, if Darwinism is true, we should expect to find reproduction. However, Darwinism is not the only (or best) conceivable cause of reproduction. Progressive creationism, for instance, would likewise not have a rabbit in the precambrian. Nor would a front-loaded evolution. In fact, in many flood models it would also be unlikely to find a rabbit in the precambrian (actually for the precambrian, most flood models have the precambrian as pre-flood rock, so it shouldn’t have any signficant animal fossils.

    3) As I said, the layers are often named based on the fossils found. The idea of the geologic column as this stack of dirt all over the earth is simply false. It is a theoretical concept to which found layers are assigned to. In many cases there is more of the column missing than present! There are many things geologists use to assign ages to rocks, but one of them is the fossils. Therefore, one of the primary reasons why you don’t find rabbits in the cambrian or precambrian is that a rabbit would auto-date the layer as being later.

  18. Russ 7 said

    “A science buff/atheist coworker of mine offered this possible falsification of NDE: “A fossilized rabbit in precambrian rock.””

    That is in essence what Michael Sherman claims to find in “Universal Genome in the Origin of Metazoa”. Cell Cycle 6:15. He finds genomic evidence “fossils” of higher taxa in the genomes of lower taxa. This man is brave and sharp.

  19. The question is:

    What evidence, what arguments, what whatever, would change Michael Ruse’s view of intelligent design?

    The question does not care if the designer(s) is (are), in reality, out-of-the-realm of ID.

    The questions doesn’t ask for scientific data from which to draw the best expanation.

    For most anti-IDists the ONLY thing that would change their minds is to meet the designer.

    And yes that demonstrates they are not interested in science- but the question is not concerned with science.

    Also what process could I design that would show the OoL is linked to ID?

    Perhaps you didn’t understand what I posted.

  20. Rude wrote, “But then convincing the committed insincere may not be the point. Letting the uncommitted confused see some logic contrasted with puffery is reason enough to engage.”

    Exactly right. We tend to forget that the Darwinist is not the audience; he is our competitor for the audience. We should focus more on gaining recruits (real mission territory) and less on winning converts (much less bang for the buck).

    Sure, its rewarding to witness a dramatic turnaround from someone such as Anthony Flew, a previously committed Atheist who now seems to acknowledge design in nature. But these glorious exeptions seem to come from their own inner drive to find the truth rather than our limited capacity to capture their imagination.

  21. johnnyb, I don’t think the “rabbit in the Pre-Cambrian” idea is rigged – it’s very valid. The reasons for this might become apparent when addressing your commenst as follows:

    a) Your wrote: “If you are talking about general ideas, you ALREADY find some modern animals in very low sediments. Not quite precambrian, but so what?”. Well, that depends on what you mean by “modern” animals. If you think trilobites are “modern” because they have evolved eyes and legs then you woul be correct, but that is really playing around with the meaning of “modern”.

    In fact, the key issue here is not so much the age or depth of the rock layer, it’s more to do with the fact that rabbits evolved (eventually) from an amphibian ancestor which was the ancestor of all land mammals (indeed, of all mammals: the sea mammals eveolved from land mammals). Now, if we found rabbits in older strata than those of the earliest amphibians, then there really would be a problem with Darwinian evolution, and indeed it would have been falsified.

    b) You wrote: “As I said, the layers are often named based on the fossils found.” Actully, I’m not sure how true this is. The names come from a variety of sources, often regiosn where the rocks are found (such as “Cambrian” after Wales, “Devonian” from Devon etc.)

    “The idea of the geologic column as this stack of dirt all over the earth is simply false.” Well, if you are talking about the complete geologic column being present all over then it isn’t, but there again no geologist ever claimed it was. It’s always been recognised that in many localities there will have been no deposition at all in vast swathes of time, or even extensive erosion and removal of layers that may have been there at one time. To say the idea is “false” implies that someone claimed it was the case, but as I say I have never heard any geologist make such a claim.

    “It is a theoretical concept to which found layers are assigned to.” That isn’t correct either. There are in fact a number of places where the geologic column IS intact, so it’s not theoretical.

    “In many cases there is more of the column missing than present!” Which is what would be expected, given that deposition processes cease and erosion processes begin.

    “There are many things geologists use to assign ages to rocks, but one of them is the fossils. Therefore, one of the primary reasons why you don’t find rabbits in the cambrian or precambrian is that a rabbit would auto-date the layer as being later.” I’m afraid this is completely off beam. Finding rabbits in the Pre-Cambrian wouldn’t just mean geologists changing the date. If those Pre-Cambrian layers were found under Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian layers etc. then they COULDN’T just redate them. One of the key principles of dating rocks is that, unless exceptional circumstances such as extreme folding apply, lower strata are older than upper strata. So if the Pre-Cambrian rocks are below the Cambrian etc. then they are older, and if the rabbit is found in them then Darwinian evolution is wrong because amphibians don’t appear until the (much later and further up the geologic column) Devonian rocks.

    Sometimes it’s forgotten that one of the key strengths of science is that different disciplines reinforce each other – or expose their deficiencies. Hence, evolution is bolstered because we don’t find rabbits in Pre-Canmbrian strata, and we can be cofident about the age because they come below Cambrian rocks, which come below Ordovision etc etc. etc., and we can find out about the age of other layers because of radiometric dating. It all fits together, and if it doesn’t (as for example a few short years back, when the age of some stars was found to be older than the estimated age of the Universe) then the science has to be revisited. It’s all about the evidence.

  22. The rabbit analogy fails simply because Darwinists will say “Look the Cambrian was not so sudden after all, You see, evolution has the magical ability to produce amazing complexity whenever it wants, plus, they will say “just because we can’t find the missing fossils to the rabbit doesn’t mean they don’t exist”
    The imagination of man has a enormous ability to concoct “just so” rationalizations to support preconcieved philosophical biases!!

  23. bornagain77, that simply wouldn’t stand up to the most rudimentary scrutiny. The skeleton of the rabbit (which is likely all that would exist as fossilised) would clearly demonstrate profound familial similarities to related mammals much later and much higher up the geologic column, so it clearly wouldn’t be a case of “parallel evolution”. There would clearly be something wrong with Darwinian evolution.

    I repeat, it’s all about the evidence. That is the strength of the scientific method. The evidence puts paid to “just so” stories.

  24. Gareth

    In fact, the key issue here is not so much the age or depth of the rock layer, it’s more to do with the fact that rabbits evolved (eventually) from an amphibian ancestor which was the ancestor of all land mammals (indeed, of all mammals: the sea mammals eveolved from land mammals). Now, if we found rabbits in older strata than those of the earliest amphibians, then there really would be a problem with Darwinian evolution, and indeed it would have been falsified.

    No, it doesn’t falsify the assertion that random mutation is the source of all biological diversity. It falsifies the ostensible timeline of mammalian descent and would force a rearrangement of the tree of life.

    Evolutionary biologists are well practiced in rearranging the deck chairs on the Darwinian cruise ship. The ideology would survive even if the current tree of common descent does not. Without skipping a beat the Darwinists would say that evolution of mammals must have a much longer history than was previously thought and we just haven’t found the evidence of it in the strata heretofore. The fossil record is imperfect doncha know…

  25. Dave,

    It certainly would falsify the notion that random mutation was the source of all biological activity. What you suggest would either mean

    (a) that mammals had evolved long, long before the fish and amphibian lines, to which they are clearly related, AND that the entire fossil record of mammals had been wiped out between the Precambrian and Jurassic whilst leaving all other Classes of animals unaffected, AND that despite the absence of fossils there had still been enough mammals around to pick up on evolution in the Jurassic; or

    (b) there were two separate strands of evolution, one early and one late, producing mammals, with the early one also evolving before the fish and amphibians to which they are related, AND that the mammalian lines produced identical rabbits. That would clearly NOT be random – it would have to be by design because evolution would not “randomly” produce absolutely anatomically identical rabbit species.

    So it would, most definitely, falsify Darwininan evolution.

  26. Gareth,
    While I agree with you that it would falsify evolution (I think it has already been falsified many times over by the way!), I can guarantee you that the pre-Cambrian rabbit would not defeat the Darwinian theory. It would definitely cause some major shifts in the evolutionary theory thats for sure, as DaveScot has clearly pointed out, but I’ve been debating Darwinists long enough to know that their theory can and will bend to whatever evidence is discovered. Such as the evidence found in the Cambrian Explosion itself. Do evolutionists find the Cambrian explosion very disconcerting to their theory? Not in the % Yet when the evidence is actually looked at objectively, the Cambrian explosion, by itself, should overthrow the Darwinian theory of common descent through RM/NS. For what is termed the “Cambrian explosion” is a total departure from the naturalistic theory of evolution. It is in the Cambrian explosion, some 540 million years ago, that we find the sudden appearance of the many diverse and complex forms of life. These complex life-forms appear with exceedingly scant evidence of transition from the bacteria and few other “simple” life-forms that immediately preceded them in the fossil record. These following quotes clearly illustrate this point.

    “Yet, here is the real puzzle of the Cambrian Explosion for the theory of evolution. All the known phyla (large categories of biological classification), except one, first appear in the Cambrian period. There are no ancestors. There are no intermediates. Fossil experts used to think that the Cambrian lasted 75 million years…. Eventually the Cambrian was shortened to only 30 million years. If that wasn’t bad enough, the time frame of the real work of bringing all these different creatures into existence was shortened to the first five to ten million years of the Cambrian. This is extraordinarily fast! Harvard’s Stephen Jay Gould stated, “Fast is now a lot faster than we thought, and that is extraordinarily interesting.” What an understatement! “Extraordinarily impossible” might be a better phrase! …. The differences between the creatures that suddenly appear in the Cambrian are enormous. In fact these differences are so large many of these animals are one of a kind. Nothing like them existed before and nothing like them has ever appeared again.” Evolution’s Big Bang; Dr. Raymond G. Bohlin, University of Illinois (B.S., zoology), North Texas State University (M.S., population genetics), University of Texas at Dallas (M.S., Ph.D., molecular biology).

    The “real work” of the beginning of the Cambrian explosion may in actuality be as short as a two to three million year time frame (Ross: Creation as Science 2006). If this blatant, out of nowhere, appearance of all the different phyla was not bad enough for naturalists, the fossil record shows that there was actually more variety of phyla at the end of the Cambrian explosion than there is today due to extinction.

    “A simple way of putting it is that currently we have about 38 phyla of different groups of animals, but the total number of phyla discovered during the Cambrian explosion (including those in China, Canada, and elsewhere) adds up to over 50 phyla. (Actually the number 50 was first quoted as over 100 for a while, but then the consensus became 50-plus.) That means there are more phyla in the very, very beginning, where we found the first fossils, than exist now.” “Also, the animal explosion caught people’s attention when the Chinese confirmed they found a genus now called Yunnanzoon that was present in the very beginning of the Cambrian explosion. This genus is considered a chordate, and the phylum Chordata includes fish, mammals and man. An evolutionist would say the ancestor of humans was present then. Looked at more objectively, you could say the most complex animal group, the chordates, were represented at the very beginning, and they did not go through a slow gradual evolution to become a chordate.” Dr. Paul Chien PhD., chairman of the biology department at the University of San Francisco, Dr. Chien also possesses the largest collection of Chinese Cambrian fossils in North America.

    The evolutionary theory would demand, or at least have us believe, that we should have more phyla today due to ongoing evolutionary processes. The hard facts of science betray the naturalists once again. The naturalist stamps his feet and says the evidence for the fossils transmutation into radically new forms is out there somewhere; we just have not found it yet. To justify this belief, naturalists will often say that soft bo^died fossils were not preserved in the Cambrian fossil record, so transitional fossils were just not recorded in the fossil record in the first place. Yet, the Chinese Cambrian fossil record is especially excellent in its preservation of delicate – ied fossils that clearly show much of the detail of the body structures of these first creatures. So the problem for naturalists has not been alleviated. In fact the problem has become much worse. As Dr. Ray Bohlin stated, some of these recently discovered fossils are extremely unique and defy any sort of transitional scenario to any other fossils found during the Cambrian explosion. In spite of this crushing evidence found in the Cambrian explosion, our naturalistic friend continues to imagine that all life on earth descended from a common ancestor and continues to imagine missing links with every new fossil discovery that makes newspaper headlines. Yet, the true story of life since the Cambrian explosion, that is actually told by the fossil record itself, tells a very different story than the imaginative tales found in naturalistic newspaper accounts. Where the story of life, since the Cambrian explosion, is extremely clear to read is in the sea creatures who fossilize quickly in ocean sediments. We find fossils in the fossil record that appear suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, fully-formed. They have no apparent immediate evolutionary predecessor. They, just, appear suddenly in the fossil record unique and fully-formed. This is exactly what one would expect from an infinitely powerful and transcendent Creator continually introducing new life-forms on earth. Even more problematic for the naturalists is the fact once a fossil suddenly appears in the fossil record it remains surprisingly stable in its basic structure for as long as it is found in the fossil record. The fossil record can offer not even one clear example of transition from one fossil form to another fossil form out of millions of collected fossils. Some sea creatures, such as certain sharks which are still alive today, have unchanging fossil records going back hundreds of millions of years to when they first suddenly appeared in the fossil record without a predecessor.

    “Now, after over 120 years of the most extensive and painstaking geological exploration of every continent and ocean bottom, the picture is infinitely more vivid and complete than it was in 1859. Formations have been discovered containing hundreds of billions of fossils and our museums now are filled with over 100 million fossils of 250,000 different species. The availability of this profusion of hard scientific data should permit objective investigators to determine if Darwin was on the right track. What is the picture which the fossils have given us? … The gaps between major groups of organisms have been growing even wider and more undeniable. They can no longer be ignored or rationalized away with appeals to imperfection of the fossil record.” Luther D. Sunderland, Darwin’s Enigma (1988), Fossils and Other Problems, 4th edition, Master Books, p. 9

    “The evidence we find in the geological record is not nearly as compatible with Darwinian natural selection as we would like it to be …. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn’t changed much. The record of evolution is surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than in Darwin’s time … so Darwin’s problem has not been alleviated”. Evolutionist David Raup, Curator of Geology at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History

    “… Every paleontologist knows that most new species, genera, and families, and that nearly all categories above the level of family appear in the record suddenly and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences.” George Gaylord Simpson (evolutionist), The Major Features of Evolution, New York, Columbia University Press, 1953 p. 360.

    “No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution for so long. It seems never to happen. Assiduous collecting up cliff faces yields zigzags, minor oscillations, and the very occasional slight accumulation of change over millions of years, at a rate too slow to really account for all the prodigious change that has occurred in evolutionary history. When we do see the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang, and often with no firm evidence that the organisms did not evolve elsewhere! Evolution cannot forever be going on someplace else. Yet that’s how the fossil record has struck many a forlorn paleontologist looking to learn something about evolution.” – Niles Eldredge , “Reinventing Darwin: The Great Evolutionary Debate,” 1996, p.95

    “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology.” Stephen Jay Gould, Professor of Geology and Paleontology at Harvard University and the leading spokesman for evolutionary theory in America prior to his recent .
    As you can see, the fossil record is overwhelmingly characterized by suddenness and stability. For creatures who have lived in the ocean this fact is extremely clear, because their bones are fossilized in the ocean sediments very quickly. Unfortunately for land creatures, the fossil record is much harder to properly discern due to the rapid disintegration of animals who die on land. The large variety of hominid (man or ape-like) fossils that we do have piece-meal records of are characterized by overlapping histories of “distinctively different and stable” hominid species during the entire time, and the entire geography, each hominid species is found in the fossil record. There is never a transition between ANY of the different hominid species no matter where, or in what era, the hominid fossils are found.

    “If pressed about man’s ancestry, I would have to unequivocally say that all we have is a huge question mark. To date, there has been nothing found to truthfully purport as a transitional species to man, including Lucy, since 1470 was as old and probably older. If further pressed, I would have to state that there is more evidence to suggest an abrupt arrival of man rather than a gradual process of evolving”. Richard Leakey, world’s foremost paleo-anthropologist, in a PBS documentary, 1990.

    As Richard Leakey, the leading hominid fossil expert in the world admits, if he were pressed, he would have to admit the hard evidence suggests the abrupt arrival of man in the fossil record. Yet if you were to ask an average person if we have evolved from apes he will tell you of course we have and wonder why you would ask such a stupid question, since “everyone knows” this is proven in the fossil record. One hard fact in the fossil record that is not disputed by most naturalists is the fact that man is the youngest distinct species of all species to suddenly appear in the fossil record. I find the fact that man has the scientifically accepted youngest history of any fossil in the fossil record to be extremely interesting and compelling to the position held by the anthropic hypothesis. Though a naturalist may try to inconclusively argue fruit flies or some other small types of animals have evolved into distinct new species since that time, he cannot produce evidence for a genetically and morphologically unique animal with a fossil record younger than mans. This one point of evidence is crucial for both sides and is an extremely important point of contention, for this fact is the primary proposal of the whole anthropic hypothesis in the first place; God created the universe with man in mind as His final goal. Man being the last distinct and separate species to suddenly appear in the fossil record is totally expected by the anthropic hypothesis and is completely contrary to what the naturalistic evolutionary hypothesis would expect. Naturalists do not seem to notice that their theory of evolution expects and even demands there should be clear evidence for a genetically and morphologically unique species on earth somewhere since man first suddenly appeared on earth. Indeed there should be many such unambiguous examples that they could produce.

    “Perhaps the most obvious challenge is to demonstrate evolution empirically. There are, arguably, some 2 to 10 million species on earth. The fossil record shows that most species survive somewhere between 3 and 5 million years. In that case, we ought to be seeing small but significant numbers of originations (new species) … every decade.” Keith Stewart Thomson, Professor of Biology and Dean of the Graduate School, Yale University (Nov. -Dec. American Scientist, 1997 pg. 516)

    So Gareth, If none of this evidence has changed a – naturalists mind, I don’t think finding a rabbit in the pre-Cambrian rocks is going to phase him all that much!

  27. Gareth,

    In order to falsify the theory of evolution it takes a valid research program, not a hunt for the needle in a haystack.

  28. bornagain77, you wrote:

    “While I agree with you that it would falsify evolution (I think it has already been falsified many times over by the way!)”

    OK, now we’re rolling! Can I suggest you give us you’re single, best example of how evolution has been falsified – and why – and we take it from there?

    “I can guarantee you that the pre-Cambrian rabbit would not defeat the Darwinian theory.”

    Whereas I can guarantee it WOULD, for reasosns given in my response to DaveScot above.

    “It would definitely cause some major shifts in the evolutionary theory thats for sure, as DaveScot has clearly pointed out”

    And I’ve answered DaveScot above – clearly it would be more than a shift in evolutionary theory, it would effectively falsify it.

    “but I’ve been debating Darwinists long enough to know that their theory can and will bend to whatever evidence is discovered.”

    No, I don’t think so. The evidence is the key. If a single piece of valid evidence is produced that is incompatible with Darwinian evolution then it would falsify it. So far, all that has been produced by those opposed to evolution has been – to use your phrase – “just so” stories.

    “Such as the evidence found in the Cambrian Explosion itself. Do evolutionists find the Cambrian explosion very disconcerting to their theory? Not in the % Yet when the evidence is actually looked at objectively, the Cambrian explosion, by itself, should overthrow the Darwinian theory of common descent through RM/NS.”

    Well, that’s a good example. Actually, nothing in the Cambrian explosion is evidence against evolution – certainly it’s sparked a vigorous debate about the rate of evolution at that time, but not about the act of evolution itself. Can I refer you to the Wikipedia website on the Cambrian explosion, which is a pretty good “in a nutshell” view of the Cambrian explosion ?

    “So Gareth, If none of this evidence has changed a – naturalists mind, I don’t think finding a rabbit in the pre-Cambrian rocks is going to phase him all that much!”

    Actually, none of it falsifies evolution – as mentioned, it raises questions about the rate at which it occurs, but nothing more. Now, I don’t want to wade through a bunch of quotes of creationists and partial quotes of evolutionists, so can I raise again my previous offer – pick your single best piece of evidence that falsifies evolution and let’s chew over that?

  29. Joseph, you wrote:

    “In order to falsify the theory of evolution it takes a valid research program, not a hunt for the needle in a haystack.”

    I agree entirely. The surprising thing is that no-one opposed to evolution is doing it. I wonder why not?

  30. Gareth,
    I consider the demonstrated harmful/fatal mutation rate to the DNA to be the most crushing piece of observable evidence to the RM/NS scenario!
    The fact that Genome’s are proven not to have a certain feasible amount of beneficial flexibility and also the fact that the vast majority of mutations are slightly detrimental, which are below the culling power of natural selection, proves that the foundational assumption of Darwinism is blatantly wrong. The assumed plasticity and flexibility of genomes that Darwinism is absolutely required to have be true is proven to be simply not there at all! This is the number one piece of evidence and you only wanted one example but at least let me give you a little background to the war between ID and Evolution and then you honestly tell me which discipline of science, ID or Evo, is being more honest to the rigorous practice of science.

    Darwinists are famous for going beyond observable data and making assumptions in order to try to establish Darwinism as valid.
    Naturalists/Darwinists/Materialists always try to establish scientific validity for evolution by pointing to suggestive similarities while ignoring the foundational principle of science (genetic entropy) that contradicts their preconceived philosophical bias. For example, naturalists say that evolution is proven true when we look at the 98.8% similarity between certain segments of the DNA in a Chimpanzee and compare them with the same segments of DNA of a Human. Yet that similarity is not nearly good enough to be considered “conclusive” scientific proof. For starters, preliminary comparisons of the complete genome of chimps and the complete genome of man yield a similarity of only 96%. Dr. Hugh Ross states the similarity may actually be closer to 85% to 90%. Secondarily, at the protein level only 29% of genes code for the exact same amino acid sequences in chimps and humans (Nature, 2005). As well, our DNA is 92% similar to mice as well as 92% similar to zebrafish (Simmons PhD., Billions of Missing Links). So are we 92% mouse or are we 92% zebrafish? Our DNA is 70% similar to a fruit fly; So are we therefore 70% fruit fly? Our DNA is 75% similar to a worm; So are we 75% worm? No, of course not!! This type of reasoning is simple minded in its approach and clearly flawed in establishing a solid scientific foundation on which to draw valid inferences from! Clearly, we must find if the DNA is flexible enough to accommodate any type of mutations happening to it in the first place. This one point of evidence, (The actual flexibility of DNA to any random mutations), must be firmly established, first and foremost, before we can draw any meaningful inferences from the genetic data we gather from organisms!! Fortunately we, through the miracle of science, can now establish this crucial point of DNA flexibility. The primary thing that is crushing to the evolutionary theory is this fact. Of the random mutations that do occur, and have manifested traits in organisms that can be measured, at least 999,999 out of 1,000,000 (99.9999%) of these mutations to the DNA have been found to produce traits in organisms that are harmful and/or to the life-form having the mutation (Gerrish and Lenski, 1998)! Professional evolutionary biologists are hard-pressed to cite even one clear-cut example of evolution through a beneficial mutation to DNA that would violate the principle of genetic entropy. Although evolutionists try to claim the lactase persistence mutation as a lonely example of a beneficial mutation in humans, lactase persistence is actually a loss of a instruction in the genome to turn the lactase enzyme off, so the mutation clearly does not violate genetic entropy. Yet at the same time, the evidence for the detrimental nature of mutations in humans is clearly overwhelming, for doctors have already cited over 3500 mutational disorders (Dr. Gary Parker).

    “It is entirely in line with the al nature of naturally occurring mutations that extensive tests have agreed in showing the vast majority of them to be detrimental to the organisms in its job of surviving and reproducing, just as changes ally introduced into any artificial mechanism are predominantly harmful to its useful operation” H.J. Muller (Received a Nobel Prize for his work on mutations to DNA)

    “But there is no evidence that DNA mutations can provide the sorts of variation needed for evolution… There is no evidence for beneficial mutations at the level of macroevolution, but there is also no evidence at the level of what is commonly regarded as microevolution.” Jonathan Wells (PhD. Molecular Biology)

    Man has over 3 billion base pairs of DNA code. Even if there were just a 1% difference of DNA between monkeys and humans, that would still be 30 million base pairs of DNA difference. It is easily shown, mathematically, for it to be fantastically impossible for evolution to ever occur between monkeys and man, or monkeys and anything else for that matter. Since, it is an established fact that at least 999,999 in 1,000,000 of any mutations to DNA will be harmful and/or , then it is also an established fact that there is at least a 999,999^30,000,000 to one chance that the monkey will fail to reach man by evolutionary processes. The monkey will hit a end of harmful/fatal mutations that will kill him or severely mutilate him before him. The poor monkey barely even gets out of the evolutionary starting gate before he is crushed by blind chance. This would still be true even if the entire universe were populated with nothing but monkeys to begin with! This number (999,999^30,000,000), is fantastically impossible for any hypothetical beneficial mutation to ever overcome! Worse yet for the naturalists, mathematician William Dembski PhD. has worked out the foundational math that shows the mutation/natural selection scenario to be impossible EVEN IF the harmful/fatal rate for mutation to the DNA were only 50%. The naturalist stamps his feet again and says that symbiotic gene transfer, cross-breeding (yes they, desperately, suggested cross-breeding as a solution), gene duplication and multiplication of chromosomes, alternative splicing etc .. etc .. are the reasons for the changes in DNA between humans and apes. They say these things with utmost confidence without even batting an eye. Incredibly, this is done in spite of solid evidences testifying to the contrary. Indeed, even if a hypothetical beneficial mutation to the DNA ever did occur, it would be of absolutely no use for it would be swallowed in a vast ocean of slightly detrimental mutations that would be below the culling power of natural selection! (Sanford Genetic Entropy; 2005)

    “The theory of gene duplication in its present form is unable to account for the origin of new genetic information” Ray Bohlin, (PhD. in molecular and cell biology)

    “Evolution through random duplications”… While it sounds quite sophisticated and respectable, it does not withstand honest and critical assessment” John C. Sanford (PhD Genetics; inventor of the biolistic “gene gun” process! Holds over 25 patents!)

    The human genome, according to Bill Gates the founder of Microsoft, far, far surpasses in complexity any computer program ever written by man. The data compression (multiple meanings) of some stretches of human DNA is estimated to be up to 12 codes thick (Trifonov, 1989)! No line of computer code ever written by man approaches that level of data compression (poly-functional complexity). Further evidence for the inherent complexity of the DNA is found in a another study. In June 2007, a international team of scientists, named ENCODE, published a study that indicates the genome contains very little unused sequences and, in fact, is a complex, interwoven network. This “complex interwoven network” throughout the entire DNA code makes the human genome poly-functional which makes the genome severely poly-constrained to random mutations (Sanford; Genetic Entropy, 2005). This means the DNA code is now much more severely limited in its chance of ever having a hypothetical beneficial mutation since almost the entire DNA code is now proven to be intimately connected to many other parts of the DNA code. Thus even though a random mutation to DNA may be able to change one part of an organism for the better, it is now proven much more likely to harm many other parts of the organism that depend on that one particular part being as it originally was. This “interwoven network” finding is extremely bad news for naturalists!

    Gareth, I could go on and on pointing to evidence along this line. Yet the main point is that one of the foundational cornerstones of evolution (mutations) is non-existent in the first place and not feasible in a poly-constrained scenario in the second place!

  31. bornagain77, thanks for answering and I’ll take your case about mutations as being the main one. I’ll decline to answer your other points at the moment, but feel to raise them later – but please, one at a time! – after we’ve both decided we’ve exhausted mutations.

    On mutations, I would refer you to the Talk Origin website which states:

    “While it is true that most mutations are either harmful, as suggested by the creationists, or neutral, the creationists gloss over a crucial fact: beneficial mutations do occur, though they are very rare. Can a beneficial mutation that occurs once in million individuals ever really contribute to evolution? Yes it can, since a rare beneficial mutation can confer a survival or reproductive advantage to the individuals that carry it, thereby leading — over several generations — to the spread of this mutation throughout a population. Beneficial mutations occurring in several different individuals in several different genes can simultaneously spread through a population, and can be followed by successive rounds of additional mutation and selection.

    Does the fact that we know many human detrimental mutations but essentially no clear beneficial ones mean that there are have been no beneficial mutations in human history? Not at all, since there is a clear bias in what medical scientists have studied. The human mutations we know most about are detrimental because medical scientists preferentially study illnesses that cause significant morbidity and mortality. Consider the theoretical possibility that a beneficial mutation has occurred in a particular human gene; even if this mutation were identified by a comparison of the mutated gene in a child versus the unmutated version of the same gene in both parents, there is no way that this mutation could ever be recognized as beneficial. If the mutation increased intelligence, strength, longevity or specific disease resistance, this would never be apparent without long-term breeding experiments that could obviously never be done on humans. Therefore, since such beneficial mutations in humans could never be recognized in humans, our ignorance of examples cannot be taken as evidence that they don’t exist. However, the experiments necessary to demonstrate a beneficial mutation can be done with laboratory organisms that multiply rapidly, and indeed such experiments have shown that rare beneficial mutations can occur. For instance, from a single bacterium one can grow a population in the presence of an antibiotic, and demonstrate that organisms surviving this culture have mutations in genes that confer antibiotic resistance. In this case (in contrast to the situation with the peppered moth populations described above) origin of the population from a single bacterium allows comparisons of the mutated genes with the corresponding genes from the original bacterium, verifying that the variant sequences were not present before the culture with antibiotics and therefore arose as de novo beneficial mutations.”

    Your own comment only refers to the “vast majority” of mutations as being harmful, and I therefore take it that you agree that some mutations ARE beneficial. Those beneficial mutations could well propagate through a poulation over several generations, if they confer a selective advantage. I think the presence of beneficial (to the bacteria!) mutations conferring resistance to antibiotics also demnstrates that beneficial mutations in bacteria – even though they would be in the vast minority -can propagate throught the bacterial population.

  32. ID proponents have been saying for YEARS that Darwinian processes DO function BUT are only capable of making minor changes. You have provided nothing that says otherwise, only speculation. The latest research by ID proponents is attempting to ascertain the exact limits of unguided Darwinian processes and convenient scenarios.

    As for ID research, here’s a brief summary previously made here on UD:

    [Scientific research]takes money and institutional support. Most people don’t have the money to go out and build a multi-million dollar lab they can run themselves. The DI has been funding a little research, and the CRS and ICR have been funding Creationist research, but other than that there isn’t much money.

    But it is amazing what has been done with so little. The following are the research projects in ID that I am aware of (Creationists that are mentioned are mentioned in their work that applies to both ID and Creationism)

    Jeffrey Schwartz has been researching the mind/brain problem, which is fundamental to ID.

    Douglas Axe has been researching issues in large-scale amino acid changes in proteins.

    Dembski has been researching mathematical methods of design detection and

    Behe, Snoke, Minnich, and Meyer have been researching irreducible complexity.

    Lonnig and Wood have both done research on plant transposons and front-loaded evolution. Lonnig even published a peer-reviewed book called “Dynamical Genetics” about genetics as dynamical systems.

    Remine has been working on the cost of natural selection.

    John Davison has been publishing on his prescribed evolutionary hypothesis.

    Jonathan Wells has been working on showing how design principles can better explain the mechanism of living systems than historic principles.

    Cavanaugh is working on empirical methods for non-evolutionary taxonomy.

    Paul Nelson has been working on ontogenic depth, though I am mostly unaware of this research.

    I also am aware of some people doing research on symbiogenesis as a primary driver of novelty of form, but am not totally sure who is working on it and whether they would want me to speak their names.

    For my own teeny tiny part I am looking into the behavior of genes as following design principles for computer software design, specifically with regards to metaprogramming. I’m planning on attempting to publish this eventually, but am looking for a biologist to partner with, especially as I have no knowledge into the inner-workings of the biology research and publishing industry.

    But that list is out of date, lacks detail, and lists only a handful…

  33. Gareth,
    The main point for evolution is that beneficial mutations have to be conclusively demonstrated in order for evolution to be considered valid scientifically. This has not occurred though it should have been proven many times over by now. Bergman (2004) has studied the topic of beneficial mutations. Among other things, he did a simple literature search via Biological Abstracts and Medline. He found 453,732 “mutation” hits, but among these only 186 mentioned the word “beneficial” (about 4 in 10,000). When those 186 references were reviewed, all the presumed “beneficial mutations” were only beneficial in a very narrow sense- but EACH mutation consistently involved loss of function changes-hence loss of information. While it is almost universally accepted that beneficial (information creating) mutations must occur, this belief seems to be based upon uncritical acceptance of RM/NS, rather than upon any actual evidence. I do not doubt there are beneficial mutations as evidenced by rapid adaptation yet I contest the fact that they #1 Build meaningful information in the genome instead of degrade preexisting information in the genome #2 That some “beneficial” mutations/adaptations are truly and purely random since the adaptation is fantastically mathematically improbable due to size of genome and limit of time i.e. evidence points to a preexisting feedback loop in the genome that is indicated in generating the beneficial adaptation all the while staying within the overriding principle of Genetic Entropy. This characteristic is also compelling to the “front-loaded” scenario of ID.
    As well the overriding fact that the vast majority of mutations are shown to be slightly detrimental instead of overtly detrimental is absolutely crushing to the RM/NS scenario for this multitude of slightly detrimental mutations are below the culling power of Natural Selection to get rid of, thus they spread throughout the population, destroying preexisting information, before any hypothetical beneficial information (That has never been conclusively demonstrated) has a chance to contribute to meaningful information in a genome.
    You site the bacteria adaptations to antibiotic as proof of beneficial mutations, Yet it is commonly known that these mutations always destroy a preexisting molecular function in order to gain the resistance.
    You state that I must agree beneficial mutations occur, This is a false presumption on your part. I believe that all “limited beneficial” mutations such as “antibiotic resistance” will always be found to stay within the overriding principle of “Genetic Entropy” for a genome. (Sanford: 2005).

  34. bornagain,
    To avoid a “word definition argument” I’ll just say that “beneficial mutations” are being used in the context of the positives from functionality loss overriding the negatives in limited circumstances/particular environments. This is in accordance with your view so I don’t see a need to say:

    You state that I must agree beneficial mutations occur, This is a false presumption on your part.

    Creating a new distinction with “limited beneficial mutations” just confuses the matter.

  35. “In order to falsify the theory of evolution it takes a valid research program, not a hunt for the needle in a haystack.”

    I agree entirely.

    Then why did you propose the “pre-cambrian rabbit” nonsense?

    The surprising thing is that no-one opposed to evolution is doing it.

    Who opposes evolution? ID doesn’t. The debate is about the mechansism- culled genetic accidents vs. designed to evolve.

    The theory of evolution can never be falsified because it will always be claimed that time can overcome all obstacles.

    Heck we can’t even account for the physiological and anatomical differences observed between chimps and humans.

  36. Patrick and Gareth,

    For the sake of clarity this statement:
    You state that I must agree beneficial mutations occur, This is a false presumption on your part.

    Should be corrected to read like this:
    You state that I must agree beneficial(information creating) mutations occur, This is a false presumption on your part.

  37. “Beneficial” is relative.

    Sickle-cell anemia is caused by a single-nucleotide substitution- a point mutation. It is “beneficial” in that the recipient is shielded from malaria. However it is a genetic deficiency.

    Anti-biotic resistance is a similar scenario- the mutation allows the individuals to live but at an overall cost- ie it is genetically deficient as a result.

  38. Joseph, you wrote:

    “Then why did you propose the “pre-cambrian rabbit” nonsense?”

    I didn’t. The “nonsense”, as you put it, was raised by someone else and I merely pointed out that, despite other posters’ protestations to the contrary, finding a fossil rabbit in the Pre-Cambrian would effectively falsify evolution. See my previous posts for the reasons why. Incidentally, the original quote about rabbits in the Cambrian (not, as I understand it, Pre-Cambrian) came from the biologist J.B.S. Haldane.

    “Who opposes evolution? ID doesn’t. The debate is about the mechansism- culled genetic accidents vs. designed to evolve.”

    This gets us back to the “what was designed” and “what has evolved” issue. For my part, I think the definition of irreducible complexity that Behe uses probably means that absolutely everything was designed, or else the definition needs to be looked at again.

    “The theory of evolution can never be falsified because it will always be claimed that time can overcome all obstacles.”

    For reasons explained in earlier posts, the fossil rabbits in the Pre-Cambrian cannot be overcome. Their (or even its) presence would invalidate evolution. You simply couldn’t have a fossil of a creature that occurred in rock strata from millions of years before its ancestors (fish and amphibians) evolved. I fail to see the difficulty with this concept. It’s a simple matter of cause and effect. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s a matter of faith to some folks to claim that evolution is not falsifiable. It is, and the fossil rabbit in the Pre-Cambrian is one way in which it would definitely be falsified.

    “Heck we can’t even account for the physiological and anatomical differences observed between chimps and humans.”

    That and a lot else. More work for the future….

  39. Patrick, you wrote:

    “ID proponents have been saying for YEARS that Darwinian processes DO function BUT are only capable of making minor changes. You have provided nothing that says otherwise, only speculation”

    The onus is on ID proponents to explain why they think that only minor changes are possible. It is certainly true that evolution predicts only minor changes from generation to generation – but when you look at the cumulative effect of hundreds of millions or billions of generations then those many, many changes can lead to large changes. But if ID proponents think there is some sort of barrier to this then its up to them to say what they think it is and provide evidence.

    “The latest research by ID proponents is attempting to ascertain the exact limits of unguided Darwinian processes and convenient scenarios.”

    Let us know when they come up with some evidence we can get our teeth into.

  40. bornagain77, you wrote:

    “Should be corrected to read like this:
    You state that I must agree beneficial(information creating) mutations occur, This is a false presumption on your part.”

    Actually, I said no such thing. I merely said you must agree that beneficial mutations occur. That is implicit from what you said earlier, and is actually EXPLICIT from your post where you wrote “I do not doubt there are beneficial mutations as evidenced by rapid adaptation.” I made absolutely no comment on whether it is “information creating” or not, and frankly I don’t think it matters to the basic point: beneficial mutations occur.

    Given that beneficial mutations occur, and you have conceded as much, there is clearly raw material for selection part and evolution will occur. Therefore I do not see that this falsifies evolution – conversely, it bolsters it.

  41. Joseph, you wrote:

    ““Beneficial” is relative.”

    Fair enough – but in the context of whether it assists with survival and reproduction, the benfits become quite clear. Either it helps the individual survive or it doesn’t – or, it gives the individual a reproductive adavnatge, or it doesn’t.

    “Sickle-cell anemia is caused by a single-nucleotide substitution- a point mutation. It is “beneficial” in that the recipient is shielded from malaria. However it is a genetic deficiency.”

    I’m not sure what you mean by “genetic deficiency”, but anyway it isn’t relevant. The point is that it is beneficial in that it has a protective effect against malaria, hence it is advantageous for individuals that have it an a malarial environment.

    “Anti-biotic resistance is a similar scenario- the mutation allows the individuals to live but at an overall cost- ie it is genetically deficient as a result.”

    No, that is wrong. There is NOT and overall cost – survival is a clear net benefit. There is no point in being “genetically sufficient” if you don’t survive as a result (there is an “overall cost” to being “genetically sufficient”, if you like). I don’t think anyone in the medical world is jumping for joy about antibiotic resistant microbes being “genetically deficient”.

  42. The pre-cambrian rabbit is not a valid falsification- for the reason provided.

    Anyone who uses or spews such a scenario does not understand science- including Haldane.

    It is not a valid research program.

    “Who opposes evolution? ID doesn’t. The debate is about the mechansism- culled genetic accidents vs. designed to evolve.”

    This gets us back to the “what was designed” and “what has evolved” issue.

    I take it English is your second language.

    “What has evolved” needs context- IOW what mechanism- culled genetic accidents vs, designed to evolve.

    For my part, I think the definition of irreducible complexity that Behe uses probably means that absolutely everything was designed, or else the definition needs to be looked at again.

    For your part you don’t understand what is being debated. Also Dr Behe stated:

    Intelligent design is a good explanation for a number of biochemical systems, but I should insert a word of caution. Intelligent design theory has to be seen in context: it does not try to explain everything. We live in a complex world where lots of different things can happen. When deciding how various rocks came to be shaped the way they are a geologist might consider a whole range of factors: rain, wind, the movement of glaciers, the activity of moss and lichens, volcanic action, nuclear explosions, asteroid impact, or the hand of a sculptor. The shape of one rock might have been determined primarily by one mechanism, the shape of another rock by another mechanism.

    Similarly, evolutionary biologists have recognized that a number of factors might have affected the development of life: common descent, natural selection, migration, population size, founder effects (effects that may be due to the limited number of organisms that begin a new species), genetic drift (spread of “neutral,” nonselective mutations), gene flow (the incorporation of genes into a population from a separate population), linkage (occurrence of two genes on the same chromosome), and much more. The fact that some biochemical systems were designed by an intelligent agent does not mean that any of the other factors are not operative, common, or important.

    “The theory of evolution can never be falsified because it will always be claimed that time can overcome all obstacles.”

    For reasons explained in earlier posts, the fossil rabbits in the Pre-Cambrian cannot be overcome.

    Again searching for a pre-cambrian rabbit is NOT a valid research program.

    Their (or even its) presence would invalidate evolution. You simply couldn’t have a fossil of a creature that occurred in rock strata from millions of years before its ancestors (fish and amphibians) evolved.

    Umm the theory of evolution does not say that mammals had to revolve from amphibians who evolved from fish.

    If a mammal was found in the pre-cambrian a) it would be explained away- just as 25 million year old human artifacts have been explained away- or b) some new mechanism would be proposed to account for it.

    The onus is on ID proponents to explain why they think that only minor changes are possible.

    The onus is on evolutionists to demonstrate that major changes are possible.

    Read the following:

    Do small changes plus time = large changes?

    Let us know when they come up with some evidence we can get our teeth into.

    That is what the theory of evolution needs. So far it only has speculation based on an assumption.

  43. Fair enough – but in the context of whether it assists with survival and reproduction, the benfits become quite clear. Either it helps the individual survive or it doesn’t – or, it gives the individual a reproductive adavnatge, or it doesn’t.

    What’s beneficial to one generation isn’t necessarily beneficial to the next.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “genetic deficiency”, but anyway it isn’t relevant. The point is that it is beneficial in that it has a protective effect against malaria, hence it is advantageous for individuals that have it an a malarial environment.

    Sickle-cell anemia is a genetic disease. That’s what I mean by “deficiency”. If you are going to rely on a disease to make your point then you have already lost.

    As for anti-biotic resistance:

    Is Bacterial Resistance to Antibiotics an Appropriate Example of Evolutionary Change?

    Abstract:

    While such mutations can be regarded as “beneficial,” in that they increase the survival rate of bacteria in the presence of the antibiotic, they involve mutational processes that do not provide a genetic mechanism for common “descent with modification.” Also, some “relative fitness” cost is often associated with such mutations, although reversion mutations may eventually recover most, if not all, of this cost for some bacteria. A true biological cost does occur, however, in the loss of pre-existing cellular systems or functions. Such loss of cellular activity cannot legitimately be offered as a genetic means of demonstrating evolution.

  44. Gareth you stated;
    Given that beneficial mutations occur, and you have conceded as much, there is clearly raw material for selection part and evolution will occur. Therefore I do not see that this falsifies evolution – conversely, it bolsters it.

    Are we in the same reality? You seem to think breaking things on the molecular level so that a bacteria can no longer recognize an antibiotic is “conclusive” proof of novelty for evolution. Are you smoking something? How in the world does breaking a preexisting molecular function provide proof of the novelty that evolution is required to generate?
    Dr. Behe clearly illustrates in EOE that the only “observed” protein binding site generated in humans by RM/NS is the sickle cell adaptation to malaria, and even this supposed novelty of protein binding comes at the terrible cost of a less efficient respiratory system for humans. As Joseph stated, if you have to refer to diseases to provide “observed” proof for the novelty evolution you have already lost the battle. I for one am not impressed in the least with your “conclusive” observed proof of evolution!

  45. Joseph, You wrote:

    “The pre-cambrian rabbit is not a valid falsification- for the reason provided.”

    You didn’t really provide one. As for my reasons, see my reply to DaveScot’s post.

    “Anyone who uses or spews such a scenario does not understand science- including Haldane.”

    I think it’s you who doesn’t understand the implications. I don’t think Haldane will be too bothered by your comment.

    “It is not a valid research program.”

    It isn’t a research program at all, nor intended to be. But should a fossil rabbit crop up in such strata then it would have the effect I mention.

    “This gets us back to the “what was designed” and “what has evolved” issue.

    I take it English is your second language.”

    Your point? Or are you running out of valid arguments and having to resort to insult?

    “For my part, I think the definition of irreducible complexity that Behe uses probably means that absolutely everything was designed, or else the definition needs to be looked at again.

    For your part you don’t understand what is being debated.”

    Go and have a look at the relevance of irreducible complexity to the design argument, then come back when you’ve learned more.

    “Their (or even its) presence would invalidate evolution. You simply couldn’t have a fossil of a creature that occurred in rock strata from millions of years before its ancestors (fish and amphibians) evolved.

    Umm the theory of evolution does not say that mammals had to revolve from amphibians who evolved from fish.”

    Yes it does. The anatomy of mammals clearly shows their ancestry. Mammals derive their jaws from fish ancestry (which is where jaws first evolved), likewise lungs from lungfish and amphibian ancestry. To say nothing of the four mammalian limbs, also inherited from fish ancestry.

    “If a mammal was found in the pre-cambrian a) it would be explained away- just as 25 million year old human artifacts have been explained away- or b) some new mechanism would be proposed to account for it.”

    If you mean by (a) the artefacts were found not to be genuine then you’d be right. Your (b) is completely wrong – because of the clear dependence of mammals on their ancestry from other classes, such as fish and amphibians, it could not be explained away.

    “The onus is on ID proponents to explain why they think that only minor changes are possible.

    The onus is on evolutionists to demonstrate that major changes are possible.”

    Done. See the comments on the ancestry of mammals.

    “Let us know when they come up with some evidence we can get our teeth into.

    That is what the theory of evolution needs. So far it only has speculation based on an assumption.”

    Try a mass of evidence from the fossil record. Or go to a good Natural Histroy Museum.

  46. Joseph wrote:

    “What’s beneficial to one generation isn’t necessarily beneficial to the next.”

    True. On the other hand, it might be. If it is it might confer an evolutionary advantage. If not it won’t.

    “Sickle-cell anemia is a genetic disease. That’s what I mean by “deficiency”. If you are going to rely on a disease to make your point then you have already lost.”

    Grow up. This isn’t win-lose. Yes, sickle cell anaemia is a disease – it is a DISADVANTAGE in areas where there is no malaria, but an ADVANTAGE in areas where malaria occurs.

    “As for anti-biotic resistance:”

    Come back when you have something better than a load of cobblers from a creationist website.

  47. bornagain77, you wrote:

    “Are we in the same reality? You seem to think breaking things on the molecular level so that a bacteria can no longer recognize an antibiotic is “conclusive” proof of novelty for evolution.”

    No, I merely asked for your best shot at falsifying evolution. You picked mutations being harnful. I pointed out a handful are beneficial to the organism – such as bacterial antibiotic resistance – and that that is a driver for evolution. So far nothing you’ve responded with has altered that.

    “Are you smoking something?”

    You disappoint me. I expect that from Joseph but I thought you were better than that.

    “Dr. Behe clearly illustrates in EOE that the only “observed” protein binding site generated in humans by RM/NS is the sickle cell adaptation to malaria, and even this supposed novelty of protein binding comes at the terrible cost of a less efficient respiratory system for humans.”

    Yes – but the pont is, in malarial envuironments it is beneficial. In a word – its more advantageous IN MALARIAL ENVIRONMENTS to live with a less efficient oxygen transport system and be free of malaria than to have a more efficient oxygen transport system but be dead because you caught malaria.

    “As Joseph stated, if you have to refer to diseases to provide “observed” proof for the novelty evolution you have already lost the battle. I for one am not impressed in the least with your “conclusive” observed proof of evolution!”

    Again you disappoint me. I’m doing win or lose – play that childish game with someone else. Nor am I trying to prove evolution – the onus on you was to falsify it. You have singularly failed to do so.

  48. Gareth

    The onus is on ID proponents to explain why they think that only minor changes are possible.

    Agreed. But this has been done many times by many authors. It’s not a matter of what is possible but rather a matter of what is statistically likely. The most understandable example of this is that it’s possible for a person to flip a fair coin a million times and have every single flip come up heads. It’s possible but so statistically improbable that it is, for all practical purposes, impossible.

    It is certainly true that evolution predicts only minor changes from generation to generation – but when you look at the cumulative effect of hundreds of millions or billions of generations then those many, many changes can lead to large changes. But if ID proponents think there is some sort of barrier to this then its up to them to say what they think it is and provide evidence.

    Behe provides exactly that evidence in “The Edge of Evolution”. Billions of trillions of generations of p.falciparum failed to produce any novel complexity beyond what can be accomplished via two or three interdependent individual nucleotide changes. It’s up to chance proponents to explain why p.falciparum, randomly evolving in time as we watched it, performed exactly as ID predicted. In far fewer generations reptiles evolved into mammals via a large number of extremely complex novel structures. If p.falciparum didn’t come up with ANY complex structures via random mutation how on earth did mammals acquire all that complexity in far fewer generations? If reptiles were flipping coins they were more likely to flip a million heads in a row than they were of evolving into mammals. The “barrier” is statistical probability. Dembski has a PhD in statistics but I don’t think it takes a PhD in statistics to understand the barrier. It takes a Darwinian brainwashing to ignore it.

    Try a mass of evidence from the fossil record. Or go to a good Natural Histroy Museum.

    This is evidence of common descent. Many ID proponents do not dispute common descent. We dispute the notion that random mutation is the source of most of the variation we see in the lines of descent.

  49. Gareth,
    I’m sorry that if me implying that you were on something was offensive. I know that is a touchy subject for many people who have been battered by substance abuse. Yet in hindsight it might have been advantageous to you if you were on something then at least you would have something to blame your apparent blatant lack of knowledge on.

  50. bornagain77, don’t worry about it. This can indeed be touchy for some folks, but there’s no point any of us chucking stones at each other. As for my blatant lack of knowledge – feel glad for me that I am on an exciting voyage of discovery, because there’s so much more for me to investigate!

    An if you DO manage to find something that falsifies evolution then let me know….

  51. It is certainly true that evolution predicts only minor changes from generation to generation – but when you look at the cumulative effect of hundreds of millions or billions of generations then those many, many changes can lead to large changes.

    You can’t simply stack small changes and–boom–you got something complex. That’s not how it works. A series of small changes have to come about independently, each having positive selective pressure, and then indirectly come together to form a new whole. That type of scenario is essentially relying on serendipity.

    One of your fellow Darwinists was nice enough to admit this wasn’t the case here on UD:

    One of the central tenets of the “modern synthesis of evolutionary biology” as celebrated in 1959 was the idea that macroevolution and microevolution were essentially the same process. That is, macroevolution was simply microevolution extrapolated over deep evolutionary time, using the same mechanisms and with essentially the same effects. A half century of research into macroevolution has shown that this is probably not the case. -MacNeill

    But to avoid quote-mining, he did believe that other mechanisms (acquisition and fusion of genomes, etc) might be capable of producing macroevolution but at this time he doesn’t have direct evidence to support this view.

    An if you DO manage to find something that falsifies evolution then let me know….

    How are you defining “evolution”: blind watchmaker hypothesis? In that case there isn’t any positive evidence based upon actual observation. What failed prediction would you consider to be adequate for falsification?

  52. DaveScot,

    Thanks for the reply. From your post:

    “[Me] The onus is on ID proponents to explain why they think that only minor changes are possible.

    [You] Agreed. But this has been done many times by many authors. It’s not a matter of what is possible but rather a matter of what is statistically likely. The most understandable example of this is that it’s possible for a person to flip a fair coin a million times and have every single flip come up heads. It’s possible but so statistically improbable that it is, for all practical purposes, impossible.”

    I would certainly agree about the extreme improbability of tossing a million heads in a row. But I suspect that evolution isn’t really a million heads in a row. Once you have the coin, and begin tossing and keep on tossing a million times, you are going to have a sequence of a million tosses (a mixture of heads and tails) which is in itself unique. Now, if you were to specify that particular sequence of a million tosses AT THE OUTSET (i.e. before you began tossing) then that sequence would be just as likely (or unlikely) to happen as if you specified a million tosses of heads only. The point is: once you begin tossing, and toss a million times, you are bound to have some sort of sequence of a million tosses.

    Evolution is the same. If at the origin of life you specified what life would be like after a couple of billion years of evolution, and got it right, the cahnces of accurately predicting the evolution of mammals would be just as unlikely as accurately predicting a sequence of a million coin tosses. But once life starts and continues evolving then, after a few billion years you will have some sort of life. But at the origin of life it would have been impossible to predict the rise of mammals – evolution could have taken any one of countless turns. So, instead of mammals, we may have had some sort of life with a dozen legs and fourteen eyes that reproduced by throwing spors in the air. Just one of countless possibilities, just as a million toin cosses produces countless possible sequences of heads and tails. The “million heads in a row” is only relevant if you consider that mammals are something special over the dozen legs/fourteen eyes configuration.

    “[Me] It is certainly true that evolution predicts only minor changes from generation to generation – but when you look at the cumulative effect of hundreds of millions or billions of generations then those many, many changes can lead to large changes. But if ID proponents think there is some sort of barrier to this then its up to them to say what they think it is and provide evidence.

    [You] Behe provides exactly that evidence in “The Edge of Evolution”. Billions of trillions of generations of p.falciparum failed to produce any novel complexity beyond what can be accomplished via two or three interdependent individual nucleotide changes. It’s up to chance proponents to explain why p.falciparum, randomly evolving in time as we watched it, performed exactly as ID predicted. In far fewer generations reptiles evolved into mammals via a large number of extremely complex novel structures. If p.falciparum didn’t come up with ANY complex structures via random mutation how on earth did mammals acquire all that complexity in far fewer generations? If reptiles were flipping coins they were more likely to flip a million heads in a row than they were of evolving into mammals. The “barrier” is statistical probability. Dembski has a PhD in statistics but I don’t think it takes a PhD in statistics to understand the barrier. It takes a Darwinian brainwashing to ignore it.”

    I think the point here is that p.falciparum is doing very nicely for itself, so there may not have been any evolutionary benefit in producing more complex structures. Similarly, mammals evolved from reptiles because there was some evolutionary benefit in certain niches – but we still have reptiles because they still do quite nicely in the environments they inhabit (recent human activities excepted).

    “[Me] Try a mass of evidence from the fossil record. Or go to a good Natural Histroy Museum.

    [You] This is evidence of common descent. Many ID proponents do not dispute common descent. We dispute the notion that random mutation is the source of most of the variation we see in the lines of descent.”

    I agree with your first sentence. On the second sentence, I think there are many ID proponents that don’t accept common descent as well. I am unclear where the “ID Movement” as a whole is on this – the broad tent won’t really be sustainable in the long term because, sooner or later, ID will have to say where it stands on common descent. On the third sentence – I would agree that random mutation on its own would not be enough because the selection (which is non-random) is a critical part of the saga.

    Thanks for the reply.

  53. Gareth,
    If your car alarm broke on your car is that proof your car is evolving into something better? If your carburetor could not take in as much air due to being partially crushed is that proof your car is evolving? If your taillight broke are you getting closer to a better machine? Certainly not! Then why do you insist that that the same type of actions over a long period time on the molecular level of biology are going to result in positive evolution instead of devolution?

  54. “The pre-cambrian rabbit is not a valid falsification- for the reason provided.”

    You didn’t really provide one.

    Searching for a pre-cambrian rabbit is not a valdi research program.

    And in order to falsify a scientific theory one must do so via a valid research program.

    Go and have a look at the relevance of irreducible complexity to the design argument, then come back when you’ve learned more.Umm the theory of evolution does not say that mammals had to revolve from amphibians who evolved from fish.”

    Yes it does.

    LoL! You are confusing the alleged history of life with the theory of evolution. That you don’t understand the difference is very telling.

    The fossil record is no friend of the theory of evolution. The vast majority of fossils are of marine inverts. And guess what? We do not see any major changes in that vast majority.

    There isn’t any biological or genetic data which even demonstrates that the changes required are even possible.

    To say nothing of the four mammalian limbs, also inherited from fish ancestry.

    Umm only if the same genes control both fish limbs and mammalian limbs- but they do not.

    You’re the disappointment Gareth. You are also very gullible.

    The true origins article is full of scientific facts. The theory of evolution is full of wishful thinking.

    BTW with sickle-cell anemia, if they didn’t have anyone to take care of them, they would die. IOW they may not get malaria but they would die very young anyway.

    It isn’t an advantage unless you have someone healthy to take care of you.

    BTW those 25 million year old artifacts were genuine. Also there isn’t anything in the theory of evolution which states that mammals had to evolve from amphibians which had to evolve from fish.

    Obviously you do not understand the theory.

    What part about that don’t you understand?

  55. I think there are many ID proponents that don’t accept common descent as well.

    True, we aren’t that gullible. We, those who do not accept UCD, understand that in order for the concept to be scientific it must account for the physiological and anatomical differences observed. And that is because the similarities can be accounted for via convergence and common design.

    Therefore if UCD is scientific then so are convergence and common design.

  56. Guys…don’t know why you’re bothering any more. He’s not backing up his statements of faith, just repeating them…and mangling other common arguments in the process.

  57. Gareth,
    Patrick nailed it down as for your frame of mind. You are making claims which we disagree with, and we show hard empirical evidence of why your claims will not work. But you, instead of providing hard empirical evidence to back up your claims, restate your beliefs as if this is a valid refutation with empirical evidence. Maybe in your mind you refuted us. You state the fossil record is proof! We disagree! Thus you must prove that the jumps seen in the fossil record are possible on the molecular level. In other words, Show us a beneficial mutation on the molecular that does not in reality break something, or modify a preexisting function, and show how it improves the organism above the level of the genetic entropy of the parent species, if you want to be taken seriously on this site!

  58. bornagain77, you wrote:

    “If your car alarm broke on your car is that proof your car is evolving into something better? If your carburetor could not take in as much air due to being partially crushed is that proof your car is evolving? If your taillight broke are you getting closer to a better machine? Certainly not! Then why do you insist that that the same type of actions over a long period time on the molecular level of biology are going to result in positive evolution instead of devolution?”

    Because living entities aren’t cars. I see no difference between “positive evolution” and “devolution” – it’s not a matter of quality, all evolution is concerned with is what it takes for an organism to survive. That’s what sickle cell anaemia does – increase the probability of an organism surviving in a malarial environment. The organism isn’t “broken” at all – it still survives and indeed, is more likely to survive in a malarial environment than what you would consider an “unbroken” organism.

    Let me put it another way – your (and my) eyesight is about 2% as good as that of a bird of prey. Does that mean our eyes are “broken”?

    Could you also please tell me what kind of Intelligent Designer would create malaria in the first place?

  59. “Searching for a pre-cambrian rabbit is not a valdi research program. And in order to falsify a scientific theory one must do so via a valid research program.”

    Utterly wrong. You don’t need a “valid research programme” at all. All you need is evidence. It doesn’t matter if that comes from a research program, or if an amateur fossil hunter strolled by a cliff on a beach or in a quarry and accidentally found the fossil in the strata. It’s the evidence that counts, not whether there was a formal research program that provided it.

    “LoL! You are confusing the alleged history of life with the theory of evolution. That you don’t understand the difference is very telling.”

    Well, the history of life is important, but so are the anatomical similarities – the vertebrae, the lungs, the limbs etc.. Together they provide firm backing for evolution.

    “The fossil record is no friend of the theory of evolution. The vast majority of fossils are of marine inverts. And guess what? We do not see any major changes in that vast majority.”

    First sentence – wrong, it does, and anyone with who’s bothered to give more than a cursory glance at the fossil record can see it. Try it sometime. Second sentence – yes there are a lot of marine invertebrates but so what? There ARE plenty of invertebrates too. Presumably you’ve heard of plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs to name but two. Third sentence – wrong. We see plenty of changes in marine invertebrates. There are species that are very similar today to their fossil ancestors but so what? They have been successful species – scallops and mussels included – and thrive in todays environments as much as they did in prehistoric ones.

    “There isn’t any biological or genetic data which even demonstrates that the changes required are even possible.”

    Whereas there is data that they’ve been intelligently designed?

    “To say nothing of the four mammalian limbs, also inherited from fish ancestry.

    Umm only if the same genes control both fish limbs and mammalian limbs- but they do not.”

    Not necessarily tru. The mammalian ones could well be different but evolved from earlier fish species.

    “You’re the disappointment Gareth. You are also very gullible.”

    My disappointnment was at your tone, rather than your position. On gullibility – well, I think someone who thinks there are 25 million year old artefacts shouldn’t cast stones there…

    “The true origins article is full of scientific facts. The theory of evolution is full of wishful thinking.”

    True Origins considers the age of the Earth to be around 6000 years. And you think its scientifically reliable?

    “BTW with sickle-cell anemia, if they didn’t have anyone to take care of them, they would die. IOW they may not get malaria but they would die very young anyway.”

    Possibly, but thepoint is they live longer on average than people with malaria, and hence have more prospects for reproduction and hence passing on the trait.

    “It isn’t an advantage unless you have someone healthy to take care of you.”

    But it IS an advantage over those who catch malaria and dies. That’s the point.

    “BTW those 25 million year old artifacts were genuine.”

    Evidence, please.

    “Also there isn’t anything in the theory of evolution which states that mammals had to evolve from amphibians which had to evolve from fish.”

    Yes there is. Where did mammals get their vertebrae, lungs, limbs etc from then?

  60. Joseph, in reply to your message:

    “[Me]I think there are many ID proponents that don’t accept common descent as well.

    [You] True, we aren’t that gullible. We, those who do not accept UCD, understand that in order for the concept to be scientific it must account for the physiological and anatomical differences observed. And that is because the similarities can be accounted for via convergence and common design. Therefore if UCD is scientific then so are convergence and common design.”

    Well, it was DaveScot who said that many ID proponents don’t dispute common descent, so take it up with him. For your information, the differences are accounted for by random mutation and natural selection. And the logic in your last sentence is flawed – it’s the evidence that counts, not the validity of another theory.

  61. bonagain77, you wrote:

    “Patrick nailed it down as for your frame of mind. You are making claims which we disagree with, and we show hard empirical evidence of why your claims will not work.”

    Sorry, I missed the evidence – I got a few bits and pieces about things being broken, but no real evidence. If you want to provide some then do so.

    “But you, instead of providing hard empirical evidence to back up your claims, restate your beliefs as if this is a valid refutation with empirical evidence. Maybe in your mind you refuted us.”

    I wasn’t trying to refute anything. Our discussion centred on whether evolution had been falsified, based on your claim that there were no beneficial mutations, which I think we both concluded was not the case – there are beneficial mutations. So that attempt to falsify evolution foundered. I you want to try again with a different line, I’m happy to listen.

    “You state the fossil record is proof! We disagree! Thus you must prove that the jumps seen in the fossil record are possible on the molecular level. In other words, Show us a beneficial mutation on the molecular that does not in reality break something, or modify a preexisting function, and show how it improves the organism above the level of the genetic entropy of the parent species, if you want to be taken seriously on this site!”

    Er, our discussion was based on your (incorrect) claim that there are no beneficial mutations. Now, if you are saying that we are finished with that, and that there is some other thing that falsifies evolution then go ahead and recast your point in a more coherent form.

  62. Gareth

    For your information, the differences are accounted for by random mutation and natural selection.

    That’s speculative. Unfortunately for the chance theory nothing but simple changes have been observed to result from random mutation. In the past one could claim that if enough generations could be observed we’d see the simple mutations piling up to become complex new structures. However, now that we’ve observed the changes occuring at the nucleotide level in p.falciparum (see Behe’s “Edge of Evolution”) over billions of trillions of generations and found no novel complex structures emerging in all that mutational opportunity, it seems on the face of it to have verified the predictions of ID that RM+NS is effectively incapable of accounting for the extant complexity we see in living things.

    I’ve yet to see an explanation from anyone about why p.falciparum failed to generate any novel complexity greater than two or three interdependent point mutations when given vastly more opportunity (generations) than all the mammals that ever lived. The ID prediction was verified in real life while the random mutation prediction was falsified. Please address this enigmatic problem for the chance theory. Continued silence on it will be taken as an admission of defeat.

  63. I’ll let Dave deal with the p.falciparum subject but the mere fact that’d you say this:

    please explain where common descent ceases to occur and design takes over and (2) is all life irreducibly complex, and if not explain which life is not irreducibly complex.

    …indicates that you don’t comprehend the subject matter.

    For 1. design IS the cause of common descent, which is not really a process, rather it’s a pattern imputed to the observations of nature made by observers from the outside. Common descent has functioned more as an abstract heuristic akin to the practice of making sense of groups (who’s in, who’s out) and of then relating those groups by a process of elimination. Although it should be noted that ID is compatible with Universal Common Descent, Common Descent through multiple LUCAs, and other scenarios.

    For 2. components of all life are irreducibly complex. Not all components are IC nor are they CSI. The question is whether unguided Darwinian processes (RM+NT, lateral gene transfer, symbiogenesis, reliance on hox genes, whatever) can produce IC and/or CSI components via Indirect Pathways. Unguided Darwinian processes “probably” (as in, my opinion) ARE capable of producing components that are composed of 3-6 parts (for comparison the flagellum is 41 and the most observed I’ve ever heard of is 2 or 3). Again, part of ID research is determining the limits of unguided Darwinian processes. Agreeing that there are beneficial mutations and limited instances of small changes is in no way a threat to ID or an admission of some sort…we’ve been saying this for years to deaf ears.

    You apparently missed this comment I made above: “A series of small changes have to come about independently, each having positive selective pressure, and then indirectly come together to form a new whole.” This is called an Indirect Darwinian pathway. The reason a Direct Darwinian pathway isn’t an option is due to Irreducible Complexity. Darwinists do not like to tacitly admit that IC is a factor but that’s why all current research is now directed upon Indirect Darwinian pathways.

    Your understanding of the subject matter is in error. The simplistic view of Darwinism of the past that you apparently adhere to is wrong.

  64. Gareth is no longer with us.

  65. Gareth, I must thank you for compelling me to update the Put a Sock In It article. To other mods: how about chipping in and covering more of the common irritating arguments?

  66. Patrick

    When backed into a corner Gareth got stupid and belligerent. In answering the question of p.falciparum he must have been channelling Lamarck – according to Gareth p.faciparum didn’t evolve any complexity because it didn’t need any. I guess if p.falciparum had to stretch its neck to reach the higher leaves its progeny would have longer and longer necks as Larmarck believed happened with the giraffe. Must be p.falciparum has no need to survive in temperate climates or use any transmission vector other than mosquitos so that’s why it doesn’t bother evolving. :lol:

    After getting stupid Gareth then got belligerent and demanded to know where random mutation stops and ID starts and if I didn’t answer it I was admitting defeat. Basically the asshat was asking where is the edge of evolution. I sincerely doubted he would bother reading Behe’s book entitled (duh) “The Edge of Evolution” for the answer so I just axed him instead.

    Does the moderation policy explicitely state that belligerent stupidity is cause for termination?

  67. [...] and Ruse will debate the issue of Intelligent Design. Well, kind of. Here is Nelson’s description of the upcoming event: Next month, on Thursday, October 4, Michael Ruse and I are going to have a [...]

  68. [...] are/were scheduled to have a debate for discussing what it would take for them to switch sides. Here is a link to Paul Nelson’s announcement where he said “Michael Ruse and I are going to have a sort of [...]

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